Categories: Hindu Scripture

Bhagavat Gita Chapter 3: Karma Yoga

The Bhagavad Gita is an important part of the Indian epic story called the Mahabharata. It has 700 verses and shows a conversation between Prince Arjuna and Lord Krishna. Here, Lord Krishna is like a teacher and guide to Prince Arjuna, helping him understand important things. The third chapter of the Bhagavad Gita is about Karma Yoga, which is the Path of Selfless Service. In this chapter, Lord Krishna talks about the importance of actions in life. He explains that it’s essential for everyone to be involved in some kind of activity in the world.

conversation between Arjuna and Krishna

Verse 1

arjuna uvaacha:
jyaayasee chetkarmanaste mataa buddhirjanaardana;
tatkim karmani ghore maam niyojayasi kesava.

Synonyms

arjuna uvaacha: Arjuna said
jyaayasee: superior
chet: if
karmanah: of actions
te: your
mataa: opinion
buddhih: understanding
janaardana: O Janardana (Krishna, the conqueror of people’s hearts)
tat: that
kim: why
karmani: in actions
ghore: terrible
maam: me
niyojayasi: engage
kesava: O Kesava (another name for Krishna)

Translation: Arjuna said: O Janardana, if you consider knowledge to be superior to action, then why do you urge me to engage in this terrible action, O Kesava?

Verse 2

vyaamisreneva vaakyena buddhim mohayaseeva me;
tadekam vada nischitya yena sreyohamaapnuyaam.

Synonyms

vyaamisrena: ambigously
eva: certainly
vaakyena: by words
buddhim: understanding
mohayasi: confuse
iva: as if
me: my
tat: that
ekam: one
vada: tell
nischitya: definitively
yena: by which
sreyoh: good
aapnuyaam: I attain

Translation: By seemingly mixed messages, you bewilder my intellect, as if it were entangled. Tell me for certain one way by which I can attain the highest good.

Verse 3

sreebhagavaanuvaacha:
lokesmindvividhaa nishthaa puraa proktaa mayaanagha;
gnyaanayogena saamkhyaanaam karmayogena yoginaam.

Synonyms

Sreebhagavaanuvaacha – The Blessed Lord said
lokesmindvividhaa – two kinds of faith in the world
nishthaa – faith
puraa – previously
proktaa – was said
mayaa – by Me
anagha – O sinless one
gnyaanayogena – through the yoga of knowledge
saamkhyaanaam – for the followers of the Sankhya philosophy
karmayogena – through the yoga of action
yoginaam – for the yogis

Translation: The Blessed Lord said: In this world, there are two kinds of devotion, as I have explained before, O sinless one—the path of knowledge (Jnana Yoga) for the contemplative and the path of action (Karma Yoga) for the active.

Verse 4

na karmanaamanaarambhaannaishkarmyam purushosnute;
na cha samnyasanaadeva siddhim samadhigachcati.

Synonyms

Na: Not
Karmanaam: Of actions
Aanaarambhaat: From abstaining
Na: Not
Aishkarmyam: Inaction
Purushaha: A person
Ushnute: Attains
Na: Not
Cha: Also
Samnyasanaat: By renunciation
Eva: Certainly
Siddhim: Perfection
Samadhigachchati: Attains

Translation: Not by abstaining from actions does a person attain freedom from action, nor by renunciation alone does one reach perfection.

Verse 5

na hi kaschitkshanamapi jaatu tishthatyakarmakrut;
kaaryate hyavasaH karma sarvah prakrutijairgunaih.

Synonyms

Na: Not
Hi: Certainly
Kaschit: Anyone
Kshanamapi: Even for a moment
Jaatu: Ever
Tishthati: Remains
Akarmakrut: Without performing actions
Kaaryate: Is not accomplished
Hi: Certainly
AvasaH: Helpless
Karma: Action
Sarvah: All
Prakrutijaih: Born of nature
Gunaih: By the modes

Translation: Indeed, no one can ever remain without performing action even for a moment; for everyone is made to act helplessly by the qualities born of nature.

Verse 6

karmendriyaani samyamya ya aaste manasaa smaran;
indriyaarthaanvimoodhaatmaa mithyaachaarah sa uchyate.

Synonyms

Karmendriyaani: Organs of action
Samyamya: Controlling
Ya: One who
Aaste: Sits
Manasaa: With the mind
Smaran: Recollecting
Indriyaarthaan: Sensory objects
Vimoodhaatmaa: Deluded soul
Mithyaachaarah: One with false conduct
Sa: That
Uchyate: Is said to be

Translation: Restraining the senses and fixing the mind on their activities, the deluded soul pretends to engage in sense gratification and is known to be deceitful in their actions.

Verse 7

yastvindriyaani manasaa niyamyaarabhaterjuna;
karmendriyaih karmayogamasaktah sa visishyate.

Synonyms

Yastu: But
Indriyaani: Senses
Manasaa: With the mind
Niyamya: Controlling
Aarabhate: Begins
Arjuna: Arjuna
Karmendriyaih: By the organs of action
Karma Yoga: The path of selfless action
Asaktah: Without attachment
Sa: That
Visishyate: Is superior

Translation: But whoever, controlling the senses with the mind, engages in the path of Karma Yoga using the active faculties of the body, is superior, O Arjuna.

Verse 8

niyatam kuru karma tvam karma jyaayo hyakarmanah;
sareerayaatraapi cha te na prasiddhyedakarmanah.

Synonyms

Niyatam: Obligatory
Kuru: Perform
Karma: Action
Tvam: You
Karma: Action
Jyaayah: Superior
Hi: Indeed
Akarmanah: To inaction
Shareerayaatraapi: Even the journey of the body
Cha: Also
Te: Your
Na: Not
Prasiddhyet: Be accomplished
Akarmanah: Without action

Translation: Perform your obligatory duties, for action is superior to inaction. Even the maintenance of your body would not be possible by inaction.

Verse 9

yagnyaarthaatkarmanonyatra lokoyam karmabandhanah;
tadartham karma kaunteya muktasangah samaachara.

Synonyms

Yagnyaarthaat: For the sake of sacrifice
Karma: Action
Anyatra: Otherwise
Lokah: World
Ayam: This
Karma: Action
Bandhanah: Bondage
Tadartham: For that purpose
Karma: Action
Kaunteya: O son of Kunti (Arjuna)
Muktasangah: Free from attachment
Samaachara: Perform properly

Translation: Work done as a sacrifice for others has to be performed; otherwise work causes bondage in this material world. Therefore, O son of Kunti, perform your prescribed duties for His satisfaction, and in that way you will always remain unattached and free from bondage.

Verse 10

sahayagnyaah prajaah srushtvaa purovaacha prajaapatih;
anEna prasavishyadhvamesha vostvishtakaamadhuk.

Synonyms

Sahayagnyaah: Sacrifices performed together
Prajaah: Creatures
Srushtvaa: Creating
Purovaacha: In ancient times
Prajaapatih: The Lord of Creatures (Brahma)
AnEna: By this
Prasavishyadhvam: Let this be propagated
Esha: This
Vah: Your
Uktah: Ordered
Vishtakaamah: Desiring desires
Adhuk: Let there be enjoyment

Translation: In the beginning of creation, Brahma created humans along with the idea of performing sacrifices and said, ‘Prosper through this yajna (sacrifice), for it shall bestow upon you all you wish to attain.’

Verse 11

devaanbhaavayataanena te devaa bhaavayantu vah;
parasparam bhaavayantah sreyah paramavaapsyatha.

Synonyms

Devaan: Deities
Bhaavayataa: By worship
Anena: Through this
Te: You
Devaa: Deities
Bhaavayantu: Shall be pleased
Vah: To you
Parasparam: Mutual
Bhaavayantah: Causing to please
Sreyah: Welfare
Param: Supreme
Avaapsyatha: You shall achieve

Translation: By nourishing the gods with this yajna (sacrifice), may the gods then nourish you. Thus, nourishing one another, you shall attain the highest good.

Verse 12

ishttaanbhogaanhi vo devaa daasyante yagnyabhaavitaah;
tairdattaanapradaayaibhyo yo bhunkte stena eva sah.

Synonyms

Ishttaan: Desired
Bhogaan: Enjoyments
Hi: Indeed
Vah: To you
Devaa: The deities
Daasyante: Shall give
Yagnya-bhaavitaah: Being pleased by sacrifice
Taih: By them
Dattaan: Given
Apradaaya: Without giving in return
Abhyah: To them
Yah: One who
Bhunkte: Enjoys
Stenah: A thief
Eva: Certainly
Sah: That person

Translation: The celestial gods, being nourished by the offerings in the sacrifice, will grant you the desired enjoyments. He who enjoys these offerings without offering them to the gods is a thief.

Verse 13

yagnyasishtaasinah santo muchyante sarvakilbishaih;
bhunjate te tvagham paapaa ye pachantyaatmakaaranaat.

Synonyms

Yagnyasishtaa: The remnants of sacrifice
Asinah: Partake
Santah: Saintly persons
Muchyante: Are freed
Sarvakilbishaih: From all sins
Bhunjate: Enjoy
Te: They
Tu: But
Agam: Faults
Paapaa: Sinful
Ye: Those who
Pachanti: Cook
Aatmakaaranaat: For their own sake

Translation: Those who eat the remnants of sacrifices are freed from all sins. But those who cook food only for themselves, verily eat only sin.

Verse 14

annaadbhavanti bhootaani parjanyaadannasambhavah;
yagnyaadbhavati parjanyo yagnyah karmasamudbhavah.

Synonyms

Annaat: From food
Bhavanti: Are created
Bhootaani: All creatures
Parjanyaat: From rains
Anna: Food
Sambhavah: Is produced
Yagnyaat: From sacrifice
Bhavati: Arises
Parjanyah: Rain
Yagnyah: Sacrifice
Karma: Action
Samudbhavah: Originates

Translation: All beings arise from food, and food arises from rain. Rain arises from sacrifice, and sacrifice arises from action.

Verse 15

karma brahmodbhavam viddhi brahmaaksharasamudbhavam;
tasmaatsarvagatam brahma nityam yagnye pratishthitam.

Synonyms

Karma: Action
Brahma: Brahman (the ultimate reality)
Udbhavam: Originates
Viddhi: Understand
Brahma-akshara: Imperishable Brahman
Samudbhavam: Originating from
Tasmaat: Therefore
Sarvagatam: All-pervading
Brahma: Brahman
Nityam: Always
Yagnye: In sacrifice
Pratishthitam: Established

Translation: Understand that all actions come from the eternal Brahman, and the material manifestation comes from the imperishable (Brahman). Therefore, the all-pervading Brahman is eternally established in sacrifice.

Verse 16

evam pravartitam chakram naanuvartayateeha yah;
aghaayurindriyaaraamo mogham paartha sa jeevati.

Synonyms

Evam: Thus
Pravartitam: Set in motion
Chakram: Wheel
Na: Does not
Anuvartayati: Follow
Iha: In this world
Yah: One who
Aghaayuh: Living sinfully
Indriya-araamah: Indulging the senses
Mogham: In vain
Paartha: O Arjuna
Sa: That person
Jeevati: Lives

Translation: He who does not follow the cycle thus set in motion, living for pleasure and self-indulgence, lives in vain, O Arjuna.

Verse 17

yastvaatmaratireva syaadaatmatruptascha maanavah;
aatmanyeva cha samtushtastasya kaaryam na vidyate.

Synonyms

Yah: One who
Tu: But
Aatma-ratih: Finds pleasure in the self
Eva: Alone
Syaad: Is
Aatma-truptah: Contented in the self
Cha: And
Maanavah: A human being
Aatmani: In oneself
Eva: Indeed
Cha: Also
Samtushtah: Satisfied
Tasya: His
Kaaryam: Duty
Na: Not
Vidyate: Exists

Translation: For one who finds delight in their own self and is content with it, there is nothing more to be done.

Verse 18

naiva tasya krutenaartho naakruteneha kaschana;
na chaasya sarvabhooteshu kaschidarthavyapaasrayah.

Synonyms

Na: Not
Eva: Certainly
Tasya: His
Krutena: By action
Arthah: Interest
Na: Nor
Akrutena: By inaction
Iha: In this world
Kaschana: Anyone
Na: Nor
Cha: And
Asya: His
Sarva-bhooteshu: Among all beings
Kaschit: Any
Artha-vyapaasrayah: Sustainer of interest

Translation: Neither by performing a duty nor by refraining from it does one gain any substance here. Nor does anyone, by virtue of his association with all creatures, ever remain without performing action.

Verse 19

tasmaadasaktah satatam kaaryam karma samaachara;
asakto hyaacharankarma paramaapnoti poorushah.

Synonyms

Tasmaat: Therefore
Asaktah: Without attachment
Satatam: Always
Kaaryam: Obligatory
Karma: Action
Samaachara: Perform
Asaktah: Without attachment
Hi: Indeed
Aacharan: Performing
Karma: Actions
Param: Supreme
Aapnoti: Attains
Purushah: A person

Translation: Therefore, always perform your duties without being attached to the results. A person who is not attached to the results of their actions attains the highest state of being.

Verse 20

karmanaiva hi samsiddhimaasthitaa janakaadayah;
lokasamgrahamevaapi sampasyankartumarhasi.

Synonyms

Karmana: Through action
Eva: Alone
Hi: Certainly
Samsiddhim: Perfection
Aasthitaa: Attained
Janakaadayah: Janaka and others
Loka-samgraham: For the welfare of the world
Eva: Certainly
Api: Also
Sampasyan: Beholding
Kartum: To do
Arhasi: You should

Translation: Indeed, Janaka and others attained perfection through action alone. You should also perform your duties in such a way that it contributes to the welfare of the world.

Verse 21

yadyadaacharati sreshthastattadevetaro janah;
sa yatpramaanam kurute lokastadanuvartate.

Synonyms

Yat: Whatever
Yat: Whatever
Aacharati: Does
Sreshthah: A respected person
Tat: That
Tat: That
Eva: Indeed
Itarah: Others
Janah: People
Sah: He
Yat: Whatever
Pramaanam: Standard
Kurute: Sets
Lokah: World
Tat: That
Anuvartate: Follows

Translation: Whatever a great person does, others also do. Whatever standard he sets, the world follows.

Verse 22

na me paarthaasti kartavyam trishu lokeshu kimchana;
naanavaaptamavaaptavyam varta eva cha karmani.

Synonyms

Na: Not
Me: My
Paartha: O Partha (Arjuna)
Asti: Is
Kartavyam: Duty
Trishu: In the three
Lokeshu: Worlds
Kimchana: Anything
Na: Nor
Anavaaptam: To be gained
Avaaptavyam: To be gained
Varta: I have any need
Eva: Certainly
Cha: Also
Karmani: Actions

Translation: O Partha, there is nothing obligatory for Me within the three worlds, nor am I in want of anything, nor have I any need to perform duties. Yet, I am engaged in prescribed duties.

Verse 23

yadi hyaham na varteyam jaatu karmanyatandritah;
mama vartmaanuvartante manushyaah paartha sarvasah.

Synonyms

yadi: if
hi: certainly
aham: I
na: do not
varteyam: perform
jaatu: at any time
karmani: duties
atandritah: diligently
mama: My
vartma: path
anuvartante: follow
manushyaah: people
paartha: O son of Pritha (Arjuna)
sarvasah: in all respects

Translation: If I did not engage in action, O Partha, certainly all men would follow My path.

Verse 24

utseedeyurime lokaa na kuryaam karma chedaham;
samkarasya cha kartaa syaamupahanyaamimaah prajaah.

Synonyms

Utseedeyuh: Will be disturbed
Ime: These
Lokaa: Worlds
Na: Not
Kuryaam: I should do
Karma: Action
Cha: And
Idaham: I
Samkarasya: Of confusion
Cha: And
Kartaa: Creator
Syaam: I become
Upahanyaam: Destroy
Imah: These
Prajaah: Beings

Translation: If I cease to perform prescribed actions, these worlds would perish, and I would be the cause of confusion and destruction of all beings.

Verse 25

saktaah karmanyavidvaamso yathaa kurvanti bhaarata;
kuryaadvidvaamstathaasaktaschikeershurlokasamgraham.

Synonyms

Saktaah: Attached
Karmani: To actions
Avidvaamso: Ignorant
Yathaa: As
Kurvanti: Perform
Bhaarata: O descendant of Bharata (Arjuna)
Kuryaat: Should perform
Vidvaamstatha: Wise
Asaktah: Unattached
Cha: Also
Iikeershuh: Should desire
Loka-samgraham: Welfare of the world

Translation: Just as the ignorant act with attachment to actions, O Bharata, the wise should act without attachment, desiring the welfare of the world.

Verse 26

na buddhibhedam janayedagnyaanaam karmasanginaam;
joshayetsarvakarmaani vidvaanyuktah samaacharan.

Synonyms

Na: Do not
Buddhi-bhedam: Split the intelligence
Janayet: Cause
Agnyaanaam: Ignorant
Karma-sanginaam: Attached to actions
Joshayet: Instigate
Sarva-karmaani: All actions
Vidvaan: The wise
YuktaH: United with
Samaacharan: Properly performing

Translation: Let not the wise unsettle the minds of the ignorant who are attached to action. They should perform all duties in a spirit of devotion, without attachment.

Verse 27

prakruteh kriyamaanaani gunaih karmaani sarvasah;
ahamkaaravimoodhaatmaa kartaahamiti manyate.

Synonyms

Prakruteh: Of nature
Kriyamaanaani: Being done
Gunaih: By the modes
Karmaani: Actions
Sarvasah: In all respects
Ahamkaara-vimoodhaatmaa: The deluded soul with ego
Kartaa: The doer
Aham: I
Iti: Thus
Manyate: Thinks

Translation: All actions are performed by the three gunas (qualities of nature). But the deluded ego, thinking itself as the doer, is attached to them.

Verse 28

tattvavittu mahaabaaho gunakarmavibhaagayoh;
gunaa guneshu vartanta iti matvaa na sajjate.

Synonyms

Tattva-vit: One who knows the truth
Tu: But
Mahaa-baaho: O mighty-armed one (Arjuna)
Guna-karma-vibhaagayoh: Distinction between the modes and actions
GunaaH: Modes
Guneshu: In the modes
Vartante: Are engaged
Iti: Thus
Matvaa: Knowing
Na: Not
Sajjate: Become attached

Translation: But the wise, O mighty-armed Arjuna, knowing the divisions of the qualities and actions, and that the qualities alone are active in the qualities, do not become attached.

Verse 29

prakrutergunasammoodhaa sajjante gunakarmasu;
taanakrutsnavido mandaankrutsnavinna vichaalayet.

Synonyms

Prakruteh: Of nature
Gunasammoodhaa: Deluded by the modes
Sajjante: Become attached
Gunakarmasu: To actions influenced by the modes
Taan: Those
Akrutsna-vidah: Who are devoid of complete knowledge
Mandaan: The ignorant
Akrutsna-vit: Not having comprehensive knowledge
Na: Do not
Vichaalayet: Disturb

Translation: Those deluded by the qualities of nature become attached to the results of actions. The wise person should not unsettle those ignorant individuals who see all things as the products of the various gunas.

Verse 30

mayi sarvaani karmaani samnyasyaadhyaatmachetasaa;
niraaseernirmamo bhootvaa yudhyasva vigatajvarah.

Synonyms

Mayi: In Me
Sarvaani: All
Karmaani: Actions
Sannyasya: Renouncing
Adhyaatma-cetasaa: With a mind centered on the self
Niraaseeh: Free from desires
Nirmamah: Without egoism
Bhootvaa: Having become
Yudhyasva: Fight
Vigata-jvarah: Free from fever (of attachment)

Translation: Renouncing all actions in Me, with the mind centered on the inner self, being free from desires and ego, fight without anxiety.

Verse 31

ye me matamidam nityamanutishthanti maanavaah;
sraddhaavantonasooyanto muchyante tepi karmabhih.

Synonyms

ye: those
me: My
matamidam: teachings
nityamanutishthanti: consistently follow
maanavaah: individuals
sraddhaavantah: full of faith
asooyantah: without envy
muchyante: become liberated
tepi: they
karmabhih: from actions

Translation: Those who follow this teaching of Mine with faith and without envy, they also, being freed from the bondage of actions, are liberated.

Verse 32

ye tvetadabhyasooyanto naanutishthanti me matam;
sarvagnyaanavimoodhaamstaanviddhi nashtaanachetasah.

Synonyms

ye: those
tu: however
etat: this
abhyasooyantah: out of jealousy
na: not
anutishthanti: follow
me: My
matam: teachings
sarva-jnana-vimoodhaan: deluded by all kinds of knowledge
taaan: them
viddhi: know
nashta-anachetasah: with intelligence lost

Translation: But those who, out of envy, disregard these teachings and do not practice them regularly, are to be considered as bereft of all knowledge, deluded, and doomed to destruction.

Verse 33

sadrusam cheshtate svasyaah prakrutergnyaanavaanapi;
prakrutim yaanti bhootaani nigrahah kim karishyati.

Synonyms

sadrusam: similarly
cheshtate: act
svasya: of their own
prakriteh: by nature
jnana-van: knowledgeable
api: although
prakritim: nature
yaanti: pursue
bhootani: beings
nigrahah: restraint
kim: what
karishyati: will do

Translation: Even a person of knowledge acts in accordance with their own nature. All beings follow their nature. What can restraint achieve?

Verse 34

indriyasyendriyasyaarthe raagadveshau vyavasthitau;
tayorna vasamaagachcettau hyasya paripanthinau.

Synonyms

indriyasya: of the senses
indriyasya arthe: in the objects of the senses
raaga: attachment
dveshau: aversion
vyavasthitau: situated
tayoh: of these two
na: never
avasam: control
aagachchhet: gain
tau: they
hi: indeed
asya: of this
paripanthinau: obstacles

Translation: Attachment and aversion for the objects of the senses reside in the senses themselves. Let none come under the control of these two, for they are his two formidable foes.

Verse 35

sreyaansvadharmo vigunah paradharmaatsvanushthitaat;
svadharme nidhanam sreyah paradharmo bhayaavahah.

Synonyms

sreyaan: better
sva-dharmah: one’s own duty
vigunah: imperfectly performed
para-dharmat: another’s duty
svanushthitaat: well performed
svadharme: in one’s own duty
nidhanam: death
sreyah: better
para-dharmah: another’s duty
bhayaavahah: fraught with fear

Translation: It is better to perform one’s own duty imperfectly than to perform another’s duty perfectly. Even dying in one’s own duty is better. Another’s duty is fraught with danger.

Verse 36

arjuna uvaacha:
atha kena prayuktoyam paapam charati poorushah;
anichcannapi vaarshneya balaadiva niyojitah.

Synonyms

Arjuna uvaacha: Arjuna said
atha: then
kena: by what
prayuktah: impelled
ayam: this
paapam: sin
charati: commits
purushah: person
anichchannapi: unwillingly
vaarshneya: O Krishna, descendant of Vrishni
balaat: by force
iva: as if
niyojitah: impelled

Translation: Arjuna said: O Varshneya (Krishna), impelled by what does this person commit sin, even unwillingly, as if compelled by force, O descendant of Vrishni?

Verse 37

sreebhagavaanuvaacha:
kaama esha krodha esha rajogunasamudbhavah;
mahaasano mahaapaapmaa viddhyenamiha vairinam.

Synonyms

Sri Bhagavaan uvaacha: The Blessed Lord said
kaamah: desire
eshah: this
krodhah: anger
eshah: this
rajo-guna-samudbhavah: born of the mode of passion
mahaasano: all-devouring
mahaapaapmaa: great sinner
viddhi: know
enam: this
iha: in this world
vairinam: as the enemy

Translation: The Blessed Lord said: It is desire, it is anger, born of the mode of passion, all-consuming and greatly sinful. Know this as the enemy in the world.

Verse 38

dhoomenaavriyate vahniryathaadarso malena cha;
yatholbenaavruto garbhastathaa tenedamaavrutam.

Synonyms

dhoomen: smoke
aavriyate: covers
vahnih: fire
yatha: as
aadarshah: mirror
malena: by dust
cha: also
yatha: as
ulbenaa: embryo
aavrutah: covered
garbhah: fetus
tathaa: similarly
tena: by that
idam: this
aavrutam: covered

Translation: Just as fire is covered by smoke, a mirror is obscured by dust, and an embryo is hidden by the womb, similarly, this knowledge is concealed by desire.

Verse 39

aavrutam gnyaanametena gnyaanino nityavairinaa;
kaamaroopena kaunteya dushpoorenaanalena cha.

Synonyms

aavrutam: covered
gnyaanam: knowledge
etena: by this
gnyaaninah: the wise
nitya-vairinaa: eternal enemy
kaama-roopena: in the form of desire
kaunteya: O son of Kunti (Arjuna)
dushpoorena: insatiable
analena: by fire
cha: and

Translation: Knowledge is covered by this constant enemy of the wise – desire, in the form of insatiable cravings, which is never satisfied and is as insatiable as fire, O Kaunteya (Arjuna).

Verse 40

indriyaani mano buddhirasyaadhishthaanamuchyate;
etairvimohayatyesha gnyaanamaavrutya dehinam.

Synonyms

indriyaani: senses
manah: mind
buddhih: intellect
asya: of the individual
adhishthaanam: basis
uchyate: are said to be
etaih: by these
vimohayati: bewilder
eshah: this
gnyaanam: knowledge
aavrutya: covering
dehinam: the embodied soul

Translation: The senses, mind, and intellect are said to be the abode of this embodied soul. With these, it deludes the soul by covering its knowledge.

Verse 41

tasmaattvamindriyaanyaadau niyamya bharatarshabha;
paapmaanam prajahi hyenam gnyaanavignyaananaasanam.

Synonyms

tasmaat: therefore
tvam: you
indriyaani: senses
aadau: in the beginning
niyamya: controlling
bharata-rshabha: O best of the Bharatas (Arjuna)
paapmaanam: the sin
prajahi: conquer
hi: certainly
enam: this
gnyaana-vignyaana-naasanam: which destroys knowledge and wisdom

Translation: Therefore, O best of the Bharatas (Arjuna), control the senses at the outset and annihilate this desire, which is the formidable destroyer of knowledge and wisdom.

Verse 42

indriyaani paraanyaahurindriyebhyah param manah;
manasastu paraa buddhiryo buddheh paratastu sah.

Synonyms

indriyaani: senses
paraani: superior
ahuh: they say
indriyebhyah: than the senses
param: superior
manah: mind
manasah: than the mind
tu: but
paraa: superior
buddhih: intellect
yah: one who
buddheh: than the intellect
paratah: beyond
tu: but
sah: that (self or soul)

Translation: The senses are said to be superior to the objects of sense perception. The mind is superior to the senses. The intellect is superior to the mind. However, that which is beyond the intellect is the true self (or soul).

Verse 43

evam buddheh param buddhvaa samstabhyaatmaanamaatmanaa;
jahi satrum mahaabaaho kaamaroopam duraasadam.

Synonyms

evam: thus
buddheh: of intelligence
param: higher
buddhvaa: knowing
samstabhya: control
aatmaanam: oneself
aatmanaa: by the mind
jahi: conquer
satrum: the enemy
mahaabaaho: O mighty-armed (Arjuna)
kaama-roopam: in the form of desire
duraasadam: formidable

Translation: Thus, understanding the supreme superiority of the intellect, restraining the mind with the intellect, and subduing the self by the self, O mighty-armed Arjuna, slay the formidable foe in the form of desire.

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Krishna Das is an experienced article writer. He writes about Hinduism in his spare time.

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